In light of reports that the Government intends to keep only three estates operational, sugar workers and their families staged a protest earlier today in front of the Ministry of Presidency and Parliament Building and called for the President and Agriculture Minister to address their concerns.
Scores of workers attached to the soon to be closed, Enmore Estate stood in solidarity with those from the obsolete Wales estate, who were reportedly denied their severance pays since December 2016.
Chants of “don’t close Enmore estate!” were heard from the workers attached to the respective estate, while the others were heard demanding that the Government pay them their severance pays.
“We need we money man. They close the estate and we want we money now. It’s high time. Four month done gone,” one protester attached to the defunct Wales Estate, said.
“Why you nah come out, and tell the workers them, why you frighten to come out and face workers now?” another protester posited his question to the Government.
Other protesters were visibly upset and vented their frustrations to media operatives while calling loudly for the President and respective Minister to meet with them.
Relatives of the Sugar workers told Inews of the steep challenges they have been facing since the estate ceased sugar operations last year.
Meanwhile, GAWU President Komal Chand describes Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder’s handling of the sector as heartless, noting that the workers are becoming desperate.
“The same minister got to be living in the fool’s paradise because he said every worker was paid, he said every worker got their severance pays. He must come here and reiterate that because hes living in a dreamland, he doesn’t know and he is aware that the workers want their severance pay. That is a right,” he asserted.
The protest later moved to the front of the Parliament building so that members of the National Assembly could hear the cries of the sugar workers as they entered the law making House.
Government closed Wales based on billions of dollars in losses over the years. It was at high level sugar consultations last year between GuySuCo, the union and the opposition, that Government disclosed that only three estates would be kept.
The protesters expressed hope that the estates would not be closed and that “Government would come to their senses.”